GUWAHATI: The dream East West Corridor was turned into a reality on Sunday amidst the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the sea coast of Gujarat in the west to Nagaon in Assam, Jadav Gogoi hitchhiked and walked for 25 days. Fortunately, the migrant worker lived to tell the tale.
With Rs 4,000 in his pocket, the 45-year-old had set out on the epic 2,800 km march on March 27 from the industrial town of Vapi in Gujarat close to the Union Territory of Daman.
During his journey, the last leg through Bihar was the most painstaking. After entering Bihar, he had to walk the remaining stretch of around 1,000 km. It was at Raha of Nagaon district that members of the Asom Jatiatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) rescued him. Subsequently, he was admitted to the Bhogeswari Phukanani Civil Hospital in Nagaon.
AJYCP local leader Dibyajit Hazarika told this newspaper they learnt about the man after he had called up his family from Ahatguri in Nagaon district by using someone’s phone.
“I am from the same village as him -- Gadharia. When we learnt about his plight yesterday (Sunday), some of us, including actor Jitumoni Mahanta, went out in a vehicle in search of him. Finally at around 8 pm, we spotted him by the roadside near the toll gate at Raha. We took him to the Raha Police Station. Later, he was admitted to the hospital in Nagaon,” Hazarika said.
He said he was robbed of the Rs 4,000 he carried and other valuables on the way. He also said that he survived by begging, Hazarika added.
Doctors at the Nagaon hospital said Gogoi was “tired but stable”.
“It is natural that he will be tired. As he arrived from outside the state, we will send his samples to a laboratory for a COVID-19 test. We will put him in 14 days’ quarantine at the hospital or at his home, even if his lab reports turn out to be negative,” Dr. J Ahmed of the hospital said.